Blog: When the Pastry Apocalypse Comes | The French Pastry School

Blog: When the Pastry Apocalypse Comes

When the Pastry Apocalypse Comes
The French Pastry School |
August 13, 2014

Friends, I have a little bit of bad news, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news. There are some rumormongers out there saying that at least within the next 50 years (or sooner!) the world will call chocolate and coffee extinct! If not extinct, both will be extraordinarily priced due to their reduced production around the world. Both crops grow in sub-tropical climates and both crops have increased in popularity year after year to the point where demand cannot keep up with supply. Many farmers give up because they cannot keep up with prices large manufacturers offer per kilo. Farmers are also facing tyranny from nature—unusual weather patterns and plant diseases and pests are destroying crops, making production more difficult than it has ever been before.

What is a creative pastry chef to do when two of the world’s most addictive flavors are no more? What will be the “next big thing”?

Many Asian countries favor beans and bean pastes to flavor and give texture to desserts. Perhaps spices as those traditionally used in savory cooking will make their pastry debut, like cumin, curry, or turmeric. As we learn about the chemical makeups of foods, and as people enjoy cheese plates as a finale to a lovely dinner, some flavoring companies are also turning to cheese extracts and compounds for flavorings in desserts.

Some ‘survivalists’ claim that grinding, roasting, and brewing chickpeas is an “acceptable” substitute for coffee, while many health- and eco-conscious consumers say that carob works for chocolate. While the flavors may not be exact, the substitutions might be just enough to pass for the original.

What do you forecast for the future of pastry?